Everyone Together

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Acts 2:42-47 NIV

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. [43] Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. [44] All the believers were together and had everything in common. [45] They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. [46] Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, [47] praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 NIV

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. [13] For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. [14] Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. [15] Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. [16] And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. [17] If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? [18] But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. [19] If they were all one part, where would the body be? [20] As it is, there are many parts, but one body. [21] The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” [22] On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, [23] and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, [24] while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, [25] so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. [26] If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1) There Are Many Parts But One Body

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

NIV uses ‘body’ 16 times and ‘part/s’ 18 times in the verses of 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 (see above). It talks about the oneness of the church community. When we look at the church we look at Christ himself.

Acts 9:4 NIV

He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

When it comes to the church then Jesus takes it very personally, because it is. You can’t separate the body of Christ from the church.

We are baptised by one spirit into one body.

Acts 18:7-8 NIV

Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. [8] Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.

They believed and were baptised. It’s two separate events. This is one example but if we look at all the different conversions and connect their elements in the New Testament then it’s much more likely that it talks about water baptism.

If we quarrel and fight each other we fight the holy spirit. We are dividing Christ’s body.

1 Corinthians 12:11 NIV

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

1 Corinthians 12:18-20 NIV

But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. [19] If they were all one part, where would the body be? [20] As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

How does God feel when we start to form our own body in the way we like by removing the parts we don’t like and re-arranging what’s left as we see fit.

In his infinite wisdom, God arranges the parts of the body in the way he wants.

Two questions to reflect on:

  • Is my view of God’s church biblical?
  • Am I obeying God?

2) Over and Undervalued Parts

1 Corinthians 12:15-26

Undervalued Parts

1 Corinthians 12:15-20

Hand tends to be more popular but without the foot the hand will be very limited as to where it can do things. We tend to start to compare and feel insecure (undervalued) or arrogant (overvalued).

Some parts get more attention but it doesn’t make them more important.

Genesis 3:6 NIV

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Too much of the eye and you get in trouble.

1 Corinthians 12:17-18 NIV

If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? [18] But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.

Every part matters!

Overvalued Parts

1 Corinthians 12:21-26 NIV

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” [22] On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, [23] and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, [24] while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, [25] so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. [26] If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:26 NIV

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

If one part is overvalued we need to bring it to its normal size and not cut it off. Otherwise, it will hurt the whole body.

Every part matters!

A missing part at the completion of a Jigsaw puzzle is very discouraging. There is no spare parts, no extras.

Two questions to reflect on:

  • Do I know which part I’m meant to be? See Romans 12
  • Do I feel over or undervalued? How can I adjust that?

Communion

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 NIV

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? [17] Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

We want to be everyone together. That’s our vision. Hopefully we also see how amazing the body of Christ already is.

We need forgiveness, hope, faith,  love, encouragement so that we can be what he created us to be.

By on 28th January 2018 from the series
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